Racing Self-Driving Cars Will Make Roads Safer for Everyone

There are certain problems you have to solve at these high speeds that could improve performance at low speeds,” says John Dolan, who studies autonomous technology at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. One of those is reducing latency—the time it takes the computer to process the data coming from a sensor and transmit instructions to various systems. “At 180 mph, you’re gonna have to do that faster,” Dolan says. Reducing that time, which is mostly a software issue, in racing creates a more robust system in the cars the rest of us will use.